TARP Payback

Pay czar in action

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He who pays the piper decides how much the piper gets paid, as the old saying doesn't quite go. In June, Treasury Department official Kenneth Feinberg was appointed the new federal "pay czar." His mandate: to dictate to companies on the federal teat exactly how they can compensate their 100 highest-paid employees.

Feinberg lacks the legal power to break existing contracts, even at companies receiving bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). To get around this obstacle, he plans to "negotiate" reductions in regular compensation or future bonuses to balance out this year's "excessive" compensation. (For any contract solidified after February 2009, bonuses for businesses getting TARP funds are payable only in restricted stock, and they are capped at one-third of normal compensation.)

These political limits on pay create economic dilemmas for TARP companies. The New York Times aptly summed up one big problem: "It could be politically untenable for a company like Citigroup to pay gargantuan sums even to those who generate gargantuan profits—the very people the company must retain if it is to recover."

In an attempt to level the playing field for TARP companies, the House of Representatives in late July passed the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009. If it becomes law, the act will establish rules about how a financial services company, whether or not it's on the dole, can pay its top executives. The dictates include requiring shareholder input on executive pay and prohibiting risky incentive-based compensation mechanisms, with the definition of risky to be determined by a federal regulator.

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  1. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  2. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  3. ..in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

  4. ..in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

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